Sorry, I’m not sorry – being confident as parents

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It is so easy to focus on negatives – especially as a parent. As raising children is not a competition why are we so fast hide away from the fact that we have done things differently, have achieved things or the great lottery of life has given us something good?

I think we make apologies for the things that are going well in our parental journey because we don’t want to make others feel inadequate or worse about things they already, wrongly, think they are failing at. Which of course is good – we don’t want other people to feel like they are failing because their child isn’t doing what ours is. It’s so important to be supportive and sensitive to others – especially sleep deprived parents. But, here is the thing: (to quote my mother in law) all children are in an ability group of one – and so are you as their parents.

We have really struggled with Wilbur’s sleep – it is still all over the place but I try not to be that mother who people can’t talk about sleep in front of. My thinking about parenthood comes back all the time to one thing: we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. So we should do it with confidence and be proud of what we’ve achieved or what, by luck, has happened in our children’s development.

So I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry that my children – generally – eat well. I’m not sorry that I breastfed for 6 months the first time and 13 months the second time – and I’m not sorry that most of the time I hated it, even though it came easily to us. I’m not sorry that Joni slept well and teething didn’t bother her. I’m not sorry that I chose to have a caesarean with my second baby and I’d make that choice again and again.

I’m also sorry that I’m not sorry that Joni isn’t toilet trained yet. I’m not sorry that my house is rarely all clean all at once. I’m not sorry that I have no idea what phonics are and I have no intention of teaching my children them until they show interest at school. I’m not sorry that some days they watch more TV than other children might and I’m not sorry that Joni believes a genuinely exciting toddler outing is a trip to Caffe Nero.

Because I can confidently say that no one is a better mother than me for my children. I definitely do not get everything right all the time – no one ever has or ever will. No one knows our children as well as we do and whilst we do have a village to thank for raising them alongside us (hello almost all our extended family within 20 minutes) we are doing a good job. It doesn’t matter that their sleep is erratic or that they think Ben & Holly are their actual friends because they are so loved and they so know it. I’m not sorry about any way that they are parented because I’m confident that we are doing the right thing for our children, or at least we are trying our best to. Peaceful parenting occurs when parents are loving, trust their instincts and are confident in their ability to raise their children.

So, go forth with confidence: you are a brilliant parent. You are doing the best you can do and you should be proud of that.

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Two happy children, in the lovely pre-tonsillitis days this week

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12 Responses to Sorry, I’m not sorry – being confident as parents

  1. JallieDaddy says:

    Bravo! There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your children in things they’re doing well in: it doesn’t mean you’re judging other parents or being boastful, it just means that you love your kids. Children all develop in different ways; all we can do is try out best to give them the love, attention help & time that they need as much as we can.

  2. Caroline says:

    We all need to say “Because I can confidently say that no one is a better mother than me for my children” more than we do :))

  3. Fantastic post and you’re absolutely right. I am very much of the opinion that we are all doing the best we can – I just wish I had the confidence to be less judgemental of myself!

  4. Polly says:

    great post and very wise words. We can be our own worst enemies sometimes. I let that go a long time ago, and choose to trust that i’m doing the best I can

  5. fritha says:

    wise words as usual Emma! I’m usually pretty good as not falling into this trap but sometimes it’s easily done! x

  6. Wry Mummy says:

    Very well put! My kids love going to “the blue cafe”, as we call Caffe Nero. And I’m not sorry that they opt for chocolate muffins the size of their faces rather than YoYos. Who wouldn’t?

  7. Very well said. Potato is a poor sleeper but I never feel other people can’t complain about a poor night too or be proud of a good night either!
    I parent Potato on my own mainly, because OH lives abroad, so sometimes Potato also watches a little more tv than I’d like, or doesn’t always have the new stimulation I see other parents giving their LO. My house is rarely clean & tidy. Even when bits are ok, it’s usually because the mess is piled up in the spare room out of sight!
    But I’m know I’m doing the best I can and that Potato is growing up in the best possible environment. He’s happy, healthy & very much loved.

  8. Amanda Higgins says:

    I definitely needed this post right now as I rock my little girl to sleep for her nap as self settling has gone out the window when teething started! When there is a toddler running around down stairs and not always a husband a mums gotta do what a mums gotta do! Thank you! Xx

  9. Oh wow what a lovely inspiring post – I totally agree with so much of what you are saying and at times it can be hard to be confident but I think as mothers we just need to believe in ourself and go forth and do what we feel is right for our family because no family is perfect

    Laura x

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